Lawmakers propose lowering B&O tax for some rural manufacturers

  • Saturday, February 2, 2019 1:30am
  • Business

A bipartisan bill introduced in the Rural Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee would reduce the business and occupation tax for manufacturers and publishers of printed materials and periodicals, excluding newspapers. It would also extend the preferential B&O tax rate for timber and woods products.

The B&O tax is Washington state’s major business tax, according to committee documents. The tax is imposed against a company’s gross income and does not deduct the cost of doing business.

“As folks know … the drawbacks to expanding our rural economy is just access to capital, and capital that will work,” prime sponsor Rep. Mike Chapman, D-Port Angeles, said.

If passed, the general manufacturing, wholesale, and retailing B&O rate for manufacturers, processors for hire, non-newspaper printers would be reduced incrementally over the next 11 years, to ease the impact of lost revenue on the state.

The new reduced B&O tax rate for the targeted rural industries would be as low as 0.2904 percent and remain in effect until July 1, 2056,

“The benefit you’re providing here is not just financial, although that’s significant,” Dave Gering, on behalf of the Seattle Manufacturing Industrial Council, said.

“You’re sending a signal that you care about them that you’re not afflicting them with one more regulation.”

The bill is scheduled to be heard in an executive session on Feb. 6.

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